Hong Kong / In the news

The Silence of the Street

You don’t realise how busy street traffic on a Hong Kong road is until it is removed completely.

Causeway Bay has become eerily silent as the buses, trams, taxis and general traffic that normally clog it’s streets have been brought to a stop by the Occupy protests.

Instead, people walk and take photographs from the streets that are normally so full of vehicles. A once in a lifetime opportunity many are not giving up on as the protesters and their barricades silently remain. The eerily empty streets have become something of a tourist attraction for those who live locally (and the occasional TVshow/fashion photo shoot too).

The busiest pedestrian crossing in Hong Kong has been dwindled to not even a 10th of its normal craziness. This crossing is normally like something out of the Matrix movie (y’know – the scene with the red dress). With the roads blocked and people staying away or diverting to areas not affected by the protests it’s “quiet”. In all my years here I have NEVER seen this crossing so empty of people. To be honest I’ve never seen Causeway Bay so empty. I can only imagine how the shops in the area must be struggling to generate their business right now.

This is what the Occupy HK Protest and road blockage in Causeway Bay looks like from above. It takes over a couple of blocks of the city and completely severs the tram lines that run from one end of Hong Kong Island to the other. The protesters have set up their own tents complete with supplies and first aid stations. Their numbers ebb and flow depending on the time of day and what is being said or threatened. More come at night or in the afternoons after work, uni and school dwindling during the morning as people head off to resume their daily routines.

I (and much of Hong Kong) can’t help but wonder how long this will last and how long people will be able to keep up this routine…

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